What a difference a year can make. I say this in regards to one thing and one thing only. Just ‘Cause.
How do I describe this phenomenon that is Just ‘Cause? Four years ago it took over my life in a way I never thought possible. The back story: Every May a group of women (determined and feisty) walk sixty miles over the course of three days to raise money and, at the very least, awareness for breast cancer recovery and research. I say recovery because part of the proceeds go to a magical place called the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden. This is a place where women who are battling cancer can go for holistic healing and support regardless of their income level or ability to pay. I say research because part of the proceeds go towards the research efforts of one particular doctor and her team at Massachusetts General Hospital. Just ‘Cause is the only organization I know that donates 100% of the funds raised. No overhead. No administrative cuts. No middleman. You give a dollar and if you designate so the VT Healing Garden gets that dollar. Or, you give a dollar and if you designate so, Mass General gets that dollar. Your dollar, your choice. This year marks the ten year anniversary of the Just ‘Cause Walk.
But back to the statement I said earlier, what a difference a year makes. Bear with me for a second while I think this through – year one I signed up to walk in late March with exactly six weeks to train and six weeks to raise $1,000. With every step I was cursing myself and complaining, what did I get myself into? At the end of the walk I was pretty sure I had sold myself short. Not enough training and barely raised $1,000.
Year Two, I decided, was for me, myself and moi. There was a determination to train better, fund raise better, and to bond with the group better. Do it right this time around. While I walked away (pun totally intended) at the end of 60 miles without major injuries I did end up with a multitude of blisters on each foot. I didn’t fund raise any better and group bonding was practically nonexistent. It was such a bad time that I vowed I wouldn’t sign up for a third year. Nope. Not going to do it. Ask anyone. I kept saying I was finished. You can’t make me. I’m done. Famous last words. It took me some time but after
weeks months of saying no I finally said yes and started training. Again. Year three was the best walk ever. I trained so well I was able to go to a Red Sox game directly after the walk. Not only that but stand and cheer for the entire game. No injuries. No blisters. My fund raising efforts went so well people were telling me they couldn’t wait to contribute the next year. Year three allowed me to establish traditions with other walkers. K and I always walk together on the last day, right after breakfast. J and I always charge into lunch on the second day with energy to spare. I hug people hello and cry when it’s time to leave. I’ve made friends.
So here it is year four and I can’t wait to sign up. I’m hungry for the training schedule. I’m ready to fund raise. I’m ready to answer the call.